Writing fat boot sector

By pecaspickles ยท 10 replies
Dec 31, 2009
  1. using testdisk and after a few scans it says "write fat boot sector" do i push yes or no? i have tons of pics on this hd that i dont want to be deleted forever. by writing a new boot sector will this erase my hd?
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    boot sector controls the ability to BOOT

    the partition table controls the content in the partition.

    In Windows, we normally use CHKDSK; testdisk is a linux tool

    WHY are you using testdisk?
  3. pecaspickles

    pecaspickles TS Rookie Topic Starter

    look at my other post under neath this one please help
  4. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    If i may offer some info to help clarify chkdsk vs testdisk tools/functionality

    1) Testdisk is also a Windows tool. (It runs under both Linux and Windows)
    2) Chkdsk and testdisk have very different functionality and are used for different purposes
    > Chkdsk is only for basic filesystem repair
    > Testdisk is used for data recovery

    Chkdsk doesn't attempt data recovery nor will it work at all if Windows doesn't recognize a filesystem on the hard drive (i.e. the filesystem is "raw" in Windows terminology)
    As to your original problem (in your your first thread Help with WD 500gb external hdd ), I don't have a simple or easy answer for you. I provide some more info below. Maybe someone else has additional info/experience to provide they could also post

    1. The best way to protect what you have at this point is to first create a "sector-by-sector" disk clone of your drive. This gives you the option that no matter what you do/try during data recovery, you can still get back to the current "as-is" image of your disk drive so you can try again or do something different for recovery if you want starting back at the current drive image
    > You can use freeware EASUS Disk Copy
    > But this will also require another large backup space to hold the "cloned" copy

    2. As for TestDisk:
    > I haven't used this tool much myself. But i've read in forums of many who've used it with reasonable success.
    > As for it writing a boot record: Your data isn't stored in the boot record. So as far as i know this would be TestDisk's attempt to restore a working hard drive (which includes having a good boot record). And it shouldn't impact your data.. but, again, to be 100% safe about things, you're best to first have a backup clone of the drive in any case

    3. As you mention lots of photos/pics you want to recover, I'll also mention freeware tool: PhotoRec that focuses on recovering exactly those types of files. It may be worth trying as well

    /* Edit */
    You might also bite the bullet and buy Partition Table Doctor if the $$ seem worth the effort for you. I have seen people post good results using it though not 100% of the time. Creating a clone backup first, if possible, is still a good idea if you can
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    @lLookinAround: Interesting :) I seem to be missing it -- is that a separate download?
    Not found in \windows\system32, Program Files\Support Tools nor Program Files\Windows Resource Kits\Tools.

    I'm interested and tnx.
  6. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Ooops. Didn't mean to say it's a "Windows tool" as in it comes from MS.. Rather it's open source GNU with binaries which can run under Windows. Downloads available for Windows and other OS as well. See here.

    I haven't had occasion to use it much myself (i guess that's a good thing that i haven't needed data recovery!) but have seen from various posts in other forums many have used it and seem to generally have good results
  7. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    before experimenting on any drive, BACKUP important stuff elsewhere.
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    hmm; better have a running system elsewhere to download into; don't expect good results downloading into a damaged filesystem :wink:

    CHKDISK /f recovers bad sectors within a partition and as noted is NOT a recovery tool.
  9. superty12

    superty12 TS Enthusiast Posts: 413

    Press yes

    Yes, you do want to write FAT boot sector. THIS WILL NOT ERASE ANYTHING!!!
  10. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Hi superty12 :wave:

    Your posts are always welcome :) though just pointing out you're posting to 6 month old threads (this and another you just posted to) so the users have probably already moved on... Anyway, just fyi, in case you hadn't noticed the last post date in the thread
  11. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,128   +982

    mbr, hd lable and partition tables

    for others stumbling into this thread;

    The BOOT sector is outside the partition table and thus is not FAT, NTFS, or EXT3 (a linux format) and actually, the MBR contains the partition table.
    The MBR is located on the very first sector of the disk, the first sector of Track 0 (normally followed by 62 unused sectors)

    in addition, the volume lable is also outside the partition table which is why you can change the lable w/o damaging the partition table.

    see this description
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